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The four most explosive revelations to come from The Case of JonBenét Ramsey Part I.

The murder of Colorado beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in 1996 is one of the most talked-about crimes of our time.

Now, almost 20 years on from her horrific murder, the case is undergoing a complete reinvestigation by some of the world’s leading experts (which we introduced and gave background to here) in a new two-part documentary series, The Case of JonBenét Ramsey.

Here are the most explosive revelations to emerge from Part One.

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

The group of experts. Source: Channel 9.

The 911 call

Following the discovery of a ransom note and her daughter missing from her bedroom, JonBenét's mother Patsy Ramsey - a retired beauty queen herself - called 911.

After reporting what had happened to the 911 operator, Patsy put the phone down, thinking she had hung up. The operator, however, stayed on the line and recorded a conversation in the background, which up until now had not been clearly deciphered.

The Ramsey family have always maintained that there were just four people in the house at the time of the murder - father John, mother Patsy, brother Bourke and JonBenét.

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

Retired FBI profiler and case leader, Jim Clemente. Source: Channel 9.

Listening to the recording using cutting-edge audio technology, case leaders Jim Clemente and Laura Richards were able to finally decipher the background conversation that the 911 operator had captured all those years ago.

First off was an adult male voice saying what sounded like, "we're not speaking to you."

Then came a woman saying what sounded like, "What did you do? Help me, Jesus."

Finally, the voice of what sounded like a young boy could be heard saying, "What did you find? "

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

Former New Scotland Yard behavioural analyst and case leader, Laura Richards. Source: Channel 9.

Perhaps most concerningly, though, was the fact the 911 operator was never questioned or asked to give evidence.

She tells Clemente and Richards she has serious concerns about the behaviour Patsy showed throughout the call.

"To me, she seemed rehearsed," the operator said.

The 911 operator who took Patsy Ramsey's call on the morning of JonBenet's murder. 

Video by The Case of JonBenet Ramsey

The ransom note

Another major moot point of the case is the ransom note.

The first problem is that it's uncharacteristically long. When the experts write it out themselves to test how long it takes, they find the minimum time would be an astounding 21:30 minutes. Bear in mind, the note was written while the murderer was inside the house while John, Patsy and Bourke were sleeping.

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

A copy of the ransom note. Source: Channel 9.

The second issue is that investigators found two practice notes, which along with the final note were written on a notepad from Patsy's desk and a pen taken from the table underneath the home telephone.


The next problem was the ransom amount.

John and Patsy Ramsey were millionaires at the time of JonBenét's murder. They owned two private jets and a boat. So asking for $118,000 - an amount similar to a bonus John had recently received at work - seems unusual. As Richards points out, when asking a millionaire for a ransom, you'd "go large".

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

FBI linguist, Jim Fitzgerald. Source: Channel 9.

The family's behaviour immediately following the murder

After calling 911, Patsy called a number of family friends who made their way to the house immediately. It was only after the friends and police had arrived that the body was discovered by John.

Upon finding it, he removed it from the crime scene, carrying his daughter upstairs and lying her on the ground in the lounge room.

During this period John went missing for a full hour and a half and was allegedly overheard by an officer on the phone asking someone to ready his private plane.

jonbenet ramsay documentary

The Ramsey's Colorado house. Source: Channel 9.

The cause of death

After investigating the body, the world's leading forensic pathologist, Werner Spitz - who was banned from entering the house by the Ramsey family at the time of the murder - found JonBenét was not killed by strangulation, as many have previously believed, but rather by a severe head wound and fracture to the skull.

The shape of the head wound matches perfectly to a flashlight found on a bench inside the house.

Werner Spitz's diagram of the wound on JonBenet's skull and the flashlight. Source: Channel 9.

"They applied a mechanism of death that at face value you think, 'oh she was strangled,'" Spitz told the experts, adding, "Yes, she was strangled to make believe that was the cause of death. But she already was dead."

For some reason the head wound did not break the skin. To test Spitz's theory, Clemente and Richards carried out several tests, one of which was asking a 10-year-old boy who was similar in age and size to what Bourke Ramsey would have been at the time, to hit a skull with a flashlight.

The wound shape and fracture matched JonBenét's almost perfectly.

the case of jonbenet ramsey part I

Clemente, Richards and Spitz. Source: Channel 9.

So, you know what we've discovered in all of this? This case is far more complex than we first believed.

There are many unanswered questions that we're going to definitely need wrapped up neatly in tomorrow night's episode if we ever want to be able to sleep at night.

Waiting for Part II is going to be a challenge.

Part II of  The Case of JonBenét Ramsey airs on Channel 9 on Tuesday night. 

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